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20 Feb 2023 | By Heather Apse

Dos and Don'ts on How to Make a Gift Bag for your Event Guests

Gift bags given to event guests have become a traditional and hospitable component of event planning. Afterall, they provide your attendees with a tangible experience and a token of appreciation! If you are hosting an upcoming event, no matter, if it’s a corporate meeting or a social party, providing a favor or gift bag is a lovely way to say thank you to your event attendees. 

But how do you put together a thoughtful take-away of products, give-aways, swag, and small gift items that will provide a lasting impression of your amazing event? Luckily, we’ve done lots of research and put together a great list of dos and don’ts. You’ll be equipped to carefully select the best treasures for your gift bags and send your event guests off the right way!


Do include a welcome or thank you note

For both business and social events, a personalized note, either welcoming them to the event or thanking them for attending, goes a long way in making a positive impression on your guests. If you are planning a company dinner, use this as a branding opportunity and put your logo on your note card or a postcard. For a personal celebration, whether a small birthday or a large wedding, a monogrammed card is a sweet, personalized touch. The main objective of this note is to include a heart-felt personal thank you. While handwritten is lovely, even printed notes get the job done if they are written well. Tuck in a beautiful, simple map or itinerary of the day’s events, menu items, or other written take-aways relevant to your extraordinary event.


include a welcome or thank you note


Do give useful gifts

Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness if your items are useful and not something that they might be apt to dispose of quickly. Think about a high-quality, practical gift that solves a problem. For example, travel or personal use products that can be nice include sunglasses, fillable water bottles, or skin/hair care products. Tech gadgets are extremely sought after these days, so maybe think about phone chargers, cases, or even headphones. Other practical items include stationary, notebooks, coasters, or even a small plant. Children in your group? A useful item like soap that has a hidden toy inside makes for a fun practical gift or even a small game to keep them entertained. This would be a very useful item in their goodie bag!


Do know your audience

When planning swag bags for your event, in addition to considering the event’s theme and purpose, you want to make sure you understand your guests. If you can learn about the demographics and some interests of your guests, this will help you in making gift bag choices. What you opt to include for child guests is most likely to be different than the ones you choose for adult attendees. A gift bag for wedding guests might be different from a gift bag for retirement party guests. If you are hosting an event for a person or group that really cares about environmental efforts, you might use a reusable bag with sustainable items. If your guests are doing an activity at the event, could an item enhance that activity? For example, give them fun socks for bowling or a hat for a sunny BBQ.


Don’t include overused items

If you are someone that attends a lot of events, you can appreciate that sometimes we get a lot of the same items. When developing your gift bag, stay away from some of the most popular items so that your gifts are useful and appreciated. Keychains, coffee mugs, corkscrews, and bottle openers come to mind as being items that most of us have plenty of. Stay clear of overused items unless they are stand-out special.


Do include personal or branded items

Whether the occasion is corporate or social, adding some personalization or branding to your items makes a more sleek and thoughtful gift bag. It is common to custom print and embed logos onto wrapping and even the gift items themselves. If the event is business-related, company logos, taglines, and website info make a nice addition to your gift bag and items. You can even personalize them by including your guests' names on the gift items. If your event is a social event, please take time to include items that represent the guests of honor, the occasion, the venue, the guests, and more. A personalized reusable bag would be a lovely way for the guests to recall your event fondly. These distinctive details can mean so much in making an impression on your guests. 


Do get creative with thank-you gifts

Put your creativity into the gift items you choose. It can be a very fun component of your event planning! Pick out some unique and high quality gifts, as these will sure to delight your guests. Try finding something useful but one-of-a-kind. We’ve seen quite special gifts like pens with clever features like rotating pictures. Use gifts that put a smile on someone's face. Humorous items, if done tastefully, are a great way to make your event gifts memorable. If you personalize anything in a creative manner, even the most ordinary item, it becomes something that brings happiness.


Don’t go over the top

When it comes to planning events, you will have a budget to follow. But when it comes to thinking about a goodie bag, make sure your items suit the event and your guests. Most people appreciate the effort and thoughtfulness much more than the expense of the items. Stay away from extravagant flashy gift items so that they remain a token of thanks for attending. If your budget doesn’t warrant an expense, do something smaller and higher quality.

use attractive packaging for your gift bags


Do use attractive packaging

Presenting your gifts in well-designed, uniform packages will leave a lasting impression. Often a gift bag is used because it is light and durable but there are other ways you could opt to wrap your gift. Think about ways to either incorporate a brand or event specific theme into your packaging. Using gorgeous wrapping or something theme-based, or even something funny, can be a nice memorable experience. The container itself could be a standard paper gift or loot bag but it also could be a recycled box, or a reusable cloth bag, a gift in itself!


Do add a small bottle of water and a snack

With even the most amazing food and beverage at your event, it is a well appreciated gift to include a small snack and a bottle of water in your gift bag. It’s such a simple addition that everyone can use and is a great way to ensure your guests are taken care of.

Local snack options are always a special choice. Think about items that are easy to eat, aren’t very messy, and travel well. Chips, gourmet popcorn, granola bars, shortbread cookies, or dried fruit are great options.

Mints are also a great addition, giving your guests another way to freshen up after the event.


Don’t choose melty or messy

No matter what you opt to include in your favor bag, think about how each item’s condition will last during your event. While something to eat is a wonderful addition to your send-off gift, make sure you opt for something that can remain intact in any climate. If you live in a warm climate, a chocolate treat is definitely going to melt. Similarly, some candles may not stand the test of temperature. Think about this as you make choices for your bags.


Ready to plan your event gift bags?

Now that your guests are sure to go home with one of your fabulous gift bags, make sure you have the right event space for your occasion. Check out EventUp, the leading global venue marketplace, for your venue search. EventUp makes finding an event space of any type or size easy. From bowling alleys to concert venues and everything in between, EventUp has what every event planner is looking for.


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